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Staff Profile

Mr Matthew Hann

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Doctoral Research Student in the School of Government and International Affairs

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Matt Hann began work on his PhD in 2010, having completed a BA in Politics with European Studies and an MA in Political Thought at Durham University, and having spent a year studying Politics at the University of Konstanz, Germany. His research interests include the theory of human rights, particularly the 'Rights Recognition Thesis'; British Idealism, in particular the work of T.H. Green; as well as the political theory of Hannah Arendt and the work of Jürgen Habermas. His PhD thesis concerns the justificatory arguments for human rights and adds to the literature on the ‘rights recognition thesis’ advanced by T. H. Green and others, whilst suggesting a novel way of conceptualising rights recognition, based on readings of aspects of T. H. Green and Hannah Arendt. The thesis argues for a theory of 'egalitarian rights recognition', which provides a justificatory argument and a contingent grounding for human rights, as well as a critique of rights that come into being through flawed processes of rights recognition. The thesis is on course for submission by August 2013

Matt is supervised by Dr. Maria Dimova-Cookson (SGIA) and Dr. Thom Brooks (Durham Law School). Matt's PhD is funded through a Durham Interdisciplinary Scholarship.

In addition to his research, Matt is Chair of the Graduate Common Room at Ustinov College, project leader of Ustinov College's Cafe des Arts and musical director of Ustinov College Choir.

Research Interests

  • British Idealism, particularly T.H. Green
  • Hannah Arendt
  • Human Rights Theory
  • Jürgen Habermas, particularly with regard to the public sphere
  • Rights Recognition

Teaching Areas

  • Ideas and Ideologies


Books: reviews

  • Hann, M.J (2011). Rights, Race, and Recognition. Contemporary Political Theory 10(1): 129.

Conference papers

  • Hann, M.J. (2013), Avoiding rights imperialism: Rights recognition, contingency, and judgement, Graduate Conference: New Frontiers for Human Rights Theory and Practice. Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Hann, M.J (2013), Double Recognition: Persons and Rights in T.H. Green, British Idealism and the Concept of the Self. Harris Manchester College, Oxford.
  • Hann, M.J. (2013), Equality as a prerequisite for rights: egalitarianism in the work of T.H. Green, The Politics of Equality: The Oxford Political Theory Graduate Conference 2013.
  • Hann, M.J. (2013), Politics beyond the state: Bosanquet, Green, world governance and 'the unity of mankind', Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2013. Cardiff..
  • Hann, M.J. (2013), Recognising Recognition: Hannah Arendt on Human Rights, Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2013. Cardiff.
  • Hann, M.J. (2013), Rights Recognition and Cosmopolitanism , Human Rights in Conflict, PGR Conference. Durham, England.
  • Hann, M. & Panepinto, A. (2013), Rights Recognition Theories and the European Human Rights Framework: A Conversation between Political Philosophy and Human Rights Law, North East PGR Law Forum Conference ‘Critical, Reflective Analyses of Law in Contemporary Society’. School of Law, Northumbria University, Newcastle, England, (Awarded 'Best Paper' prize.).
  • Hann, M.J. (2012), Isoi and Homoioi: equality and sameness in T.H. Green's political thought, Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2012. Belfast.
  • Hann, M. J. (2011), Borrowing Green: to what extent can T.H. Green on Rights Recognition usefully be exploited in contemporary debate on rights?, Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2011.
  • Hann, M. J. (2011), Morality, Status and the State: Comparing Hegel and T.H. Green on Rights Recognition, MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory 2011. Manchester, England.